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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

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278                                                THS ASSI-KHAMBA.
Krishna or kis worship, even at any earlier period, is entirely ficdtious. That
is to say, so far as concerns the actual fabric and the materials of which it is
constructed : the site, as in so many other similar cases, has probably been
associated with Hindu worship from very remote antiquity. In Sir John
Strachey's time I obtained a gram of Es. 1?000 for the repair of the building
which had fallen into a very ruinous condition., and in digging the foundations
of the new screen-walls (the old walls had been simply set on the ground without
any foundation at all) I came npoa a number of remains of the true Hindu
temple, dating apparently from no further back than about the year 1500 A.D.
The Iconoclast would not use these sculptures in the construction of Ms mosque*
since they had too recently formed part of an idolatrous shrine, but had them
buried out of sight ; while he had no scruple about utilizing the old Buddhist
piEars. Whatever I dug up, 1 either let into the wall or brought over to
Matimra for the local Museum. The roof of the present building, as constructed
by the Mnhammadans, is made up of any old slabs and broken pillars that
irst came to hand; but two compartments are covered in with the small flat
domes of the old temple, which are similar in character to the beautiful examples
at AJmer and Mount Abu.
Mothers come here for their purification on the sixth day after childbirth
—chhattM pdja—whence the building is popularly known as the Chhatthi Falna^
and it is visited by enormous crowds of people for several days about the anni-
versanr of Krishna's birth in the month of Bhadon. A representation of the
infant god's cradle (pdlna) is displayed to view, with his foster-mother's churn
and other domestic articles. The place being regarded not exactly as a temple5
but as Xanda and Jasoda's actual dwelling-house, all persons? without regard
to the religion they profess, are allowed to walk about in it with perfect freedom.
Considering iihe size, the antiquity, the artistic excellence, the exceptional
archaeological interest, the celebrity amongst natives, and the close proximity to
Mathiara of this building^ it is strange that it has never before been mentioned
by any English writer.
It is said that whenever foundations are sunk within the precincts of the
fort, many fragments of sculpture—of Buddhist character, it may be presumed
•—have been brought to light ; but they have always been buried again or bro-
ken up as building materials.   Doubtless, MaM-ban was the site of some of
those &oddhist monasteries which the Chinese  pilgrim Ea Hian distinctly
existed ia his time on "both sides of the river.   And further, whatever
be the exact Indian "word concealed under the form Klisoboras, or Ciiso-